Toca Loca P*P

Toca Loca P*P

In the oft-hermetically sealed world of new music, popular music is ridiculed and reviled. On P*P, it's robustly relished and celebrated. Here, a dozen pieces from the realms of indie rock, avant jazz and elsewhere are performed with gleeful abandon by trio Toca Loca. The overall feel is of overhearing a reading of an off-Broadway musical. The singing is functionally passable but it's not the focal point of the trajectory of the collection of pieces. The rhythms are generally bouncy and toe-tapping, although Geof Holbrook's "Pep Formula" makes extensive use of pop song structures and variable tempos. Toca Loca's two pianos and percussion, with creakily earnest vocals by the threesome, cover lots of sonic ground. The piano flams and ascending lines on Juliet Palmer's "Five" provide a palpable energy to the tune's flow. Repetition is a key component of popular music and some tracks take full advantage of this compositional tactic, such as Robert Stevenson's "Lift." It's great to hear new music experts let their hair down. (Centrediscs)